Chomo Lhari (7350m), “the bride of Kangchenjunga,” on the Bhutan-Tibet border, showing the two new routes established by the Slovenian team in October 2006. The yellow line on the left side of the north face, is the ca. 1900-meter, snow-and-ice couloir climbed by Rok Blagus, Tine Cuder, Matej Kladnik and Samo Krmelj in four days round trip from base camp. The team summitted on October 14 and descended the route. The green line indicates the Northwest Pillar, climbed by Marko Prezelj (who led all the pitches) and Boris Lorencic in six-days round trip. [Photo] Matej Kladnik
On October 19, we published a NewsWire about Marko Prezelj and Boris Lorencic and their success on the second-highest peak in Bhutan: Chomo Lhari (7350m), “the bride of Kangchenjunga,” on the Bhutan-Tibet border. Now Prezelj has written with details of the expedition, indicating that in addition to two routes on Chomo Lhari, teammembers also climbed a mountain just to the east: Jangmo Gopsha (6706m).
On Chomo Lhari, at the same time Prezelj and Lorencic were engaged with their route, the Northwest Pillar, Rok Blagus, Tine Cuder, Matej Kladnik and Samo Krmelj managed a steep, ca. 1900-meter, snow-and-ice couloir on the left side of the north face in four days round trip from base camp, summitting on October 14 and descending the route.
Plagued by high winds on the Northwest Pillar, not to mention difficulties up to M6+, Prezelj and Lorencic took an additional two days on their ascent. Prezelj, who led the entire climb, managed to free all the difficulties, which he described as “mixed and quite serious.” Prezelj compared the route to the “Golden Pillar” (ABO: VI 5.11d A3, 2300m) of Spantik (7027m), the route first climbed by Mick Fowler and Victor Saunders in perfect style that Prezelj repeated with an international team in 2000. Conditions that changed daily, inobvious route finding and few bivy spots characterized the line, which was just under 2000 meters high. Prezelj and Lorencic had intended to descend the south ridge, but found conditions to be too dangerous and thus descended their line of ascent on the Pillar, which had the added advantage of having two bivy spots already prepared.
“In general it was a serious climb,” noted Prezelj, “where logistics and choices of the tactics were probably more important than just ‘difficult moves of the body’.”